IHCAE successfully conducts 2nd Basic Mountaineering Course

Gangtok, 29 Mar:

The Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure & Eco-tourism [IHCAE] at Chemchey in South Sikkim had organized 2nd Basic Mountaineering Course from 04-28 Mar with the participation of 35 trainees [23 male & 12 female] from different States of India.

An IHCAE press release informs that the opening ceremony of the course on 05 Mar had the presence of Administrator, IHCAE, Urjiman Rai, as chief guest and Dr Jigmee Bhutia from Sikkim University as guest.

The course had Everester, Kunzang Gyatso [Everester], as the chief instructor along with Anand Gurung [Everester], Shanti Rai, Mohan Darnal, Wangdi Lama, Anush Gurung and Ashal Rai as instructors.

Resource persons for the event were Colonel Gulsan Chadha and Dr Amit from the Indian Army], Dr NP Sharma [Scientific Officer, Science & Technology, Government of Sikkim] and Nehal Sarkar from West Bengal.

At the onset of the course, the trainees were distributed into three ropes along with selection of rope leaders, quarter master, rope senior and course senior on the first day of the training. They were also informed about their responsibilities during the course. The IHCAE issued equipments and clothing for individual trainees followed by classes on equipments introduction and its usage and maintenance.

The trainees were given physical training every morning for two hours in order to make them physically fit for the mountains.

At the initial stage of the training, trainees were informed about the basic knowledge of rock climbing and jummaring, various kinds of rappelling in the rock and methods of evacuation during rock climbing.

Two trekking sessions, one short trek [10 KM] and one long trek [18KM], with loads of 10-12 kgs were conducted during the period of training.

In addition, they were also given theoretical classes on mountaineering history, mountain hazards, mountain terminology, camp hygiene and sanitation, camping in mountain, First Aid, rescue and survival in the mountains, eco-tourism, Do’s and Don’ts [mountain manners], Map/GPS reading and history of Sikkim, the release adds.

Before exposure to the rock craft, the participants were trained on rope knots and hitches, coiling techniques of ropes, etc. The trainees also practiced in pitching different types of tents.

The trainees were also examined for their medical fitness and were reported to be medically fit for high altitude training.

The team proceeded to Chungthang in North Sikkim on 15 Mar where they halted for a night at Chungthang School. The team started trekking the day after for the next halt at Lachung School. The trainees then proceeded to the Base Camp at Yumthang Valley [12000 ft] for the acclimatization process.

The next day the team took rock climbing sessions at Yumthang followed by high altitude trek at Langkong Valley.

During their snow and ice training for the next three days, the participants were trained on different walking techniques, co-ordination of crampon and ice-axe, self arrest techniques, roping up in snow and ice, various step cutting technique, crevasse rescue techniques, anchoring methods using different gears in snow, and improvising system of anchoring in snow, etc.

On the final day of the training, the participants underwent a height gain session to Mt. Brumkhangse [16500 ft] in North Sikkim.

After successfully completing the scheduled high altitude training, the team headed back to IHCAE wherein a valedictory function was organized with Chief Administrator, IHCAE, retired Colonel DN Bhutia, as chief guest. Prizes were handed over to the best performers and the best team. The training cell also presented appreciation mementos to Colonel Bhutia and IHCAE administrator, Mr Rai.

The participants have extended gratitude to State Tourism Minister, Ugen Gyatso, and the board of IHCAE for their support and assistance for the training course.